Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers
That’s the name of the paper I’ve been working on with Andrea Castillo for the past couple of months and it is out today, so please check it out.
Here’s a thought experiment that might convey why I think Bitcoin is so important: Did you know that, in order to keep his independence, Glenn Greenwald is not paid a salary by the Guardian? Instead, he solicits donations from his readers and takes payment via PayPal and Google Checkout. Now what if the UK government decided to put the screws to those fine companies the way it has just been revealed they are putting them to the Guardian? Governments—including the U.S. government—engage in prior restraint of financial transactions every day. By targeting intermediary payment processors, it would be easy for the government to prevent UK citizens from making donations to Greenwald, just as PayPal, Visa, Bank of America and others were pressured by U.S. officials to deny payment processing to WikiLeaks in late 2010.
Bitcoin, however, is censorship resistant money, and we need that now more than ever.